This post will be added and updated through the Weekend.
We are in for what looks like a serious bunch of weather. I am going to go into “Live Blog” mode and try to update this post as much as I can as new forecasts, conditions, and issues emerge. New information will be added to the top of the post.
Update 9 – 8:30PM – All watches and warnings ended.
Thankfully, all the watches and warnings have ended for now. We have not warmed a whole lot in Port Alberni, but on the plus side it allowed us to have snow on the ground for Christmas Day! 8cm by my measure.
The rain lasted pretty much all day. This should end overnight but there will be more rain all week. Take the breaks in the rain when you can 🙂
I hope you all had a fun and festive time, or maybe a relaxing time, or maybe just a quiet time. Whatever it was, I wish you well.
I’ll take a break for a couple days and be back later for a New Year’s forecast. You can count on plenty of rain for the foreseeable future. 🙂
Chris and Family. ❤️
End of 8:30PM and Final Update
Update 8 – 11:30AM – Rainfall Warnings Remain!
Rain continues to fall. My station is both plugged with snow and likely having radio transmission issues so I have not recorded any rain on my station yet. I would estimate about 30mm has fallen since last night, but that could be a lot more. We’ll see what the Airport Station has for its totals.
We are already experiencing local flooding and drain backups in Port Alberni. Here is the text of the Rainfall Warning this morning:
Rain Ending Soon – Temperature Steady
The rain should end pretty soon. This morning’s model indicates the main rainfall areas clear the Island before 1PM except Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula.
Warm Air is here, but not Port Alberni yet
Here is the current temperature map from Wunderground:
I’m glad actually that it has not warmed up more yet in Port because it has slowed down the potential melt. We have not seen any wind yet. We’ll see if we get any but at this point I expect to stay near freezing until Sunday.
Showers and rain will begin Christmas morning around 10AM for many places.
It will continue through the day but the main force of the system will come onshore in the evening. By 7PM the atmospheric river is pointing toward the mid-Island.
There will be two main waves overnight. The second wave will finish around 5AM.
I would expect the rainfall warnings to continue through Christmas Day and end Boxing Day morning.
Take care out there. It’s a mess on the roads. Hopefully you’re where you need to be already!
End of the 11:30AM Update
Update 7 – 11:00PM – Rainfall Warnings!
Just a quick update to flag the Rainfall Warning now in effect and the new EC forecast of 50-70mm overnight in Inland (Port Alberni / Gold River) and up to 125mm on the West Coast. This is in addition to the Winter Storm Warning that remains in effect due to the Freezing Rain risk.
You will want to add checking your local drains to make sure they are not clogged with ice and snow.
End of the 11:00PM Update
Update 6 – 9:00PM – Freezing Rain continues. Rain is on the way!
We ended up getting enough freezing rain to coat everything! It is kind of beautiful! Too bad it’s so dangerous!
I’ve never seen anything like this:
The expectation is that by this time Saturday/Christmas Eve this should all be melted away, so let’s get into it!
Next system off the Coast
There it is, our very wet destiny!
Still chance of freezing rain overnight.
I would not expect any more snow to fall, though we might get some sleet. But I think we can expect more freezing rain at least until Saturday morning. The image below is 7-10PM Friday. There are still some pockets of cold air in the model delivering snow (green) especially toward Courtenay/Campbell River.
However, after midnight as the main force of the system arrive it’s all rain.
By 4-7AM the firehose is squarely pointed at the mid-Island. With heavy precipitation rates you could see the temperature get dragged down and a messy mix but I expect the vast majority of this will be rain and it could warm up to as high as 5ºC before noon.
The rain should clear by 1PM Saturday afternoon according to the map below except the extreme South Island.
King Tide Saturday.
As we did Friday, Saturday will feature a King Tide of 3.8m. This will deliver a potential for flooding with the melting snow. Let’s hope the low river levels at least help mitigate this threat. High Tide is at 12:25PM.
Take care out there!
End of the 9:00PM Update
Update 5 – 9:00AM – Freezing Rain and Ice Pellets and a hard sad drive.
We were on the road to the Nanaimo Emergency Vet last night at 12AM after our little Daschund ate some frozen dough balls. She didn’t make it.
Needless to say, driving conditions were terrible. I might not post anymore today… or this weekend. Or I might post just to distract myself like I am now.
We have 10cm on the ground at Alberniweather. The freezing rain should stop this afternoon but might return tonight before the warm winds come and change it to rain.
Please heed the warnings. Take care out there. And hug your fur babies.
We had her for 8 of her 12 years. Katy was a very good doggy.
End of the 9:00AM Update
Update 4 – 5:45PM – Snow has begun.
The snow has begun to fall in and around Port Alberni.
Live updates from Mastodon
I will toot (the Mastodon version of tweets) through the evening. You can follow below. The toots also get repeated onto Twitter.
Here is the latest text of the warning:
From this point on you should consider not driving. If you are already on the road, try to get where you need to go. Conditons will worsen this evening and overnight into tomorrow morning.
End of the 5:45PM Update
Update 3 – 12:45PM – Thursday – New Models and Forecast Out
Environment Canada has updated it’s forecast.
- They expect 10cm of snow or ice pellets tonight.
- They expect 5-10cm of snow and/or ice/freezing rain on Friday.
That is a total of up to 20cm of snow from now to Friday afternoon. More snow is expected Friday night before the warm air comes in and things really get messy.
Latest UWash High-Resolution Model
In quick point form here is what the high-resolution UWash model says:
- Precipitation begins no later than 7PM Thursday – likely Snow
- Expect southeast winds to accompany this.
- Heavier Snow should start around Midnight.
- Snow continues for all South Island areas until around 5AM
- SouthEast winds will accompany all of this for most areas.
- Snow lightens, and may turn to rain or freezing rain/ice pellets early Friday morning.
- Mix of Snow and Freezing Rain in scattered areas across Vancouver Island all day Friday and into Friday evening. We may or may not see a warming trend on Friday afternoon. It hard to say and will depend on location and geography.
Christmas Eve Saturday – Storm #2
- The Warmup Begins – UWash model predicts only rain from Saturday onward.
- Temperatures should be above Freezing.
- Light Freezing Rain, Showers, or Flurries from Midnight to 5AM
- Main system arrives around 6AM with heavier rain/freezing rain/snow.
- Precipitation peaks in Port Alberni in the 9-10AM until the 1-2PM hours. This is in line with King Tides. Flooding risk Highest Now.
- Storm begins to clear around 6PM on Christmas Eve Saturday.
Christmas Sunday – Storm #3 – Atmospheric River
The picture below is for 7-10AM on Christmas Day. Greys and blacks are rain.
Merry Christmas! 😂
By the Way! I have updated the Christmas Light Tour Map! If you have any suggestions or additions or deletions, please comment or email there.
END – 12:45PM UPDATE
Update 2 – 10:30AM – Thursday – Winter Storm Watch is now a Warning.
Here is the main text:
The High Resolution models are just starting to come out right now. I’ll post another update once they are complete around noon.
END – 10:30AM UPDATE
Update 1 – 9:30AM – Thursday – Winter Storm Watch will Upgrade to Warning
Winter Storm Watch for Inland, East, West Vancouver and Victoria and Vancouver
Here is the text of the Winter Storm Watch for Port Alberni/Inland. I expect this to be upgraded to a warning by the 11AM or 4PM Thursday update from Environment Canada.
It’s worth noting, Toronto, Ontario also has a Winter Storm Watch/Warning in effect. We are in a strange weather world!
Storm #1 – Thursday Night and into Friday
The morning models are updating right now. I will update again in an hour or two when the very-high resolution model is finished but for now we can get an idea of the broad picture.
Light snow will begin this afternoon for most areas. The main body of the system bringing significant snowfall will not reach the South Island until around 8PM. However, the SouthEast winds should start well before then. Here is the 7-8PM picture:
You can see those strong SE winds off of the West Coast and in the Strait of Georgia. Expect Ferry cancellations possibly as soon as the 5PM sailings.
Snowfall should continue to increase into the overnight hours. By the 1-2AM period the heaviest precipitation rates will have reached the entire South Island.
The expectation is for all of this to fall as snow or ice pellets. We’ll see what the very-high resolution models show in a few hours for local impacts. We can see the Winds remain strong SE overnight.
The next picture looks like the back of the front will start to clear the precipitation around 6-7AM on Friday on the West Coast, Courtenay and Port Alberni.
The SE winds should start to ease Friday morning but there remain patches of snow and potential freezing rain or ice pellets all day Friday. The image below shows that patchy precipitation over the Island. Snow or sleet could continue in Cowichan and Port Alberni. We also see the shift in the wind from SE to SW in preparation for the next storm.
The shift in wind may indicate a shift in temperature to quickly warm up. We’ll see. The image below shows more moisture on Friday evening starting around 6-7PM
I will leave it there for this update. Come back later for another update as the models change and Environment Canada updates its guidance. Stay safe out there. Get your shopping done today!
END – 9:30AM UPDATE
The main gist of the outlook for the weekend is in yesterday’s blog. That will give you an overview of what to expect and first look on timing. I remain very concerned about the expected combination of King Tide and melting snow and rain.